Alzheimer’s disease and associated dementias are now killing 6.5 million individuals in the United States and destroying the lives of many more when friends and relatives of the patients are included. According to the National Institutes of Health, this figure is anticipated to quadruple over the next four decades.
The things to understand about dementia are that it is utterly awful for you and everyone around you; it is a high possibility, and you are pretty much on your own when fighting or avoiding it.
The most recent study, which looked at adults born in the 1920s, discovered that people in their 70s had a roughly one-in-three probability of developing this terrible brain illness before they died. Those born later are more likely to live longer lives and are in even greater danger.
Meanwhile, the federal government spends less than 0.1% of its budget on research to combat this disease each year, compared to the amount it spent battling Covid for two years. To put it another way, at present rates, Uncle Sam will spend more than 1,000 years researching Alzheimer’s than he did combat Covid-19. Meanwhile, a new incident has raised concerns about how much dementia research over the last 15 years has been based on incorrect data.
Recently there was some extremely encouraging new evidence has just been published in JAMA Neurology (Journal of the American Medical Association). In a nutshell, simply walking more might significantly reduce our chances of acquiring dementia, and it has the potential to decrease our risk in half.
And surprisingly, the optimal aim is roughly 9.800 steps per day: barely shy of the elusive 10,000-steps-per-day figure, which was supposedly generated by the marketing staff of a Japanese clock maker some decades ago.
The most recent findings are based on multi-year research of approximately 80,000 people in the United Kingdom. They entailed comparing actual data from step counters, such as Fitbits, worn by individuals with seven-year follow-ups.
A larger number of steps were related to a decreased risk of all causes of dementia in this study analysis, the scientists wrote. The data show that a daily step count of slightly under 10,000 may be best related to a decreased risk of dementia. Higher-intensity steps led to stronger correlations.
In the research, those who walked 3,800 steps daily had a 25% decreased chance of acquiring dementia. Those who walked 9,800 steps were 50% less likely to die. Those who walked at least 6,000 steps and for at least half an hour every day at a faster pace had a 62% decreased risk of acquiring dementia.
Naturally, there are several caveats in the actual world. In terms of correlation or causation, how far should we go? Will additional research come to the same conclusions? What would the long-term figures reveal if the follow-ups were done in 10 or 20 years?
The research has three major takeaways.
The first is that the advantages of walking appear to be most pronounced if you walk at least 3,800 steps daily. The second point is that the ideal average is around 9,800. The third point is that simply strolling about will not give you the full advantage. For the most significant benefit, we should strive to walk “purposefully” for at least half an hour every day at a rate of “112 steps per minute.”
Of course, humans had spent most of the last million years walking a lot every day, eating raw foods, and fasting a lot when no food was available. Despite all the billions spent on new medical treatments, we are slowly realizing that our bodies genuinely prefer to move a lot, eat whole foods, and fast.